Mohamed Salah has made an astonishing 17 goals in just 16 games for Liverpool this season. The Egyptian is on the verge of breaking a Premier League record with 26 goals in his first 20 matches. His skills have taken him to another level, but how will he compare against some of the best players ever?
The “Chelsea” is a football club in England. The team has won the Premier League title 5 times. Liverpool must make Mohamed Salah the best player in the league to win it this year.
Mohamed Salah is an issue for Liverpool, but it is one that most teams would want to have. They have perhaps the finest player in the world right now, and he is playing up to his title by scoring in almost every game. The only drawback for Liverpool is that he has yet to sign a new contract, with his current deal set to expire in 2023, and each exceptional performance puts more pressure on the club’s negotiating staff.
The major issue today is whether Salah is tightening the screws so much that he puts Fenway Sports Group (FSG), Liverpool’s American owners, in an untenable scenario. Salah will become Liverpool’s highest-paid player if he signs a new contract at Anfield, with defender Virgil van Dijk currently holding the title after signing a new contract for a whopping £300,000 per week in August.
The cost of having one of the world’s best players in your squad is now beginning to rocket, as sources told ESPN this week when revealing that Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland will demand wages in excess of £500,000-a-week to sign for one of the many clubs desperate to acquire his services next summer, and Salah unquestionably deserves to be placed in the same bracket as the likes of Haaland, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi.
When Salah scores a major goal or makes a game-winning contribution for Jurgen Klopp’s squad, he not only increases his value to the club, but he also helps his personal position in contract negotiations.
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There’s a fair probability Liverpool would have accepted Salah’s offer at the conclusion of last season if football hadn’t been hammered severely by the financial effect of the COVID-19 outbreak. For a long time, the Egypt international has done nothing to quell reports connecting him with a transfer to LaLiga in Spain, and FSG’s successful business model at Anfield has seen them purchase players for relatively modest amounts and then sell them for a profit at the right time. With two years left on Salah’s contract, the chance to make a significant profit by selling him last summer may have been too enticing for Liverpool to pass up.
When Philippe Coutinho left Liverpool for Barcelona for £142 million in January 2018, the Reds let their finest player leave, but wisely re-invested every cent in Van Dijk (£75 million from Southampton) and goalkeeper Alisson (£67 million from AS Roma). The team won the Champions League in 2019 and the Premier League the following year as a result of that choice.
Liverpool might have taken the same route with Salah, but the pandemic’s harsh financial realities have decimated the transfer market, and no team has been able to fund the requisite transfer price to lure the 29-year-old away from Anfield. It may be a different scenario in 2023, particularly if he continues to score apparently at whim, but Liverpool would be making a massive mistake if they put profit ahead of retaining him.
Mark Ogden, senior writer for ESPN FC, has all the latest news and reactions.
As Klopp has said this season, there is now no greater player in the world than Salah, so it would be a bold move for Liverpool to inform him that, despite his star status, he isn’t deserving of a wage package to match.
However, a pay of £30 million per year for the next four or five years does not align with FSG’s existing contracting and recruiting practices. For FSG, the player must have some form of value at the conclusion of his contract, and a 34-year-old who has just cost them £120m-£150m in salaries would not be worth much.
However, they must consider who would be able to replace Salah and how much it would cost.
Man United, according to Steve Nicol, cannot afford to go two goals behind against Liverpool, like they did against Atalanta.
Tottenham demanded £150 million from teams interested in signing striker Harry Kane this summer, which Man City refused to pay, but if that’s what it takes to acquire Kane, Salah is worth a lot more for a variety of reasons.
Salah (102) has scored more Premier League goals than Kane (89) in the last five years, has more assists (37 vs. 23), and has a better fitness record. Salah has only missed three Liverpool games due to injury or sickness since joining from Roma in 2017, while Kane has missed 42 Tottenham games in total, more than a full season. The Egyptian has also become one of football’s most commercially successful players, thanks in part to his association with Liverpool, a club with worldwide clout, so his potential worth is enormous.
Simply put, Liverpool couldn’t find a comparable replacement for Salah without paying far more than it would have cost to retain him. Even if Liverpool paid him £500,000 a week for five years, it would still be less than the £150 million Tottenham wants for Kane, even after factoring in the England captain’s wages and the fact that he is 28 years old. Salah’s track record, fitness, quiet lifestyle, and professionalism indicate that he will still be a world-class player in five years, even if those figures make FSG’s eyes wet.
As he approaches his 37th birthday in February, Ronaldo is still delivering, while PSG’s Lionel Messi, at 34, is still far from retirement. So making Salah the best-paid player in the Premier League is the only move that makes football and financial sense for Liverpool. Every time he steps onto the pitch, he proves that he is worth it.
The “Liverpool must make Mohamed Salah the Premier League’s best” is a story that has been written by many outlets. Liverpool have recently signed Mohamed Salah from Roma for what was then a club-record fee of £36.9 million. Reference: bundesliga.
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